Sapeur.wav is a collaborative effort of singer/songwriters Katrell and Numonics. Bolstered by the latter member’s penchant for audio production, the band aims to capture a diverse fanbase, as it features a distinct foundation of alternative rock and an additional channeling of complementary styles. On their latest EP release, Universe Provides, the two gravitate toward an R&B and bedroom pop direction, a sensible branching from their roots of funk and soul.
On the opening track, “Overshadowed Doubts,” I appreciate how the calming, almost bleak nature of Numonics’ instrumentation matches the color of the album art. Katrell’s vocal tonality fits right in with its atmosphere, both by itself and in harmony, and is a readily enjoyable factor alongside the instrumentation. From a thematic standpoint, both members express themselves as if plodding along through uncertain hardships, yet still having the heart to embrace any moments of beauty that occur within their journey. “Royalty,” the track to follow, seems to be an extension of that, with Katrell singing (both literal and figurative) praises of someone dear to him that emits a similar vibration. Both the beats and harmonies go straight to the point this time, and signify a type of love that is outright, but to an extent, impulsive. As a result, “Runnin’” centers around the subsequent fight-or-flight response from either side, highlighting the bursts of anger and confusion, but also, the eventual willingness to work toward repairing the tension.
The latter half of the album is started by “March,” a statement of pride solidified by its unique implementation. While the song’s synth-accented percussion resembles a strong stomp of sorts, it can also be a newly-acquired sense of careful planning, in an effort to show the world that even though turmoil is inevitable, so is growth. In “Givin’ It All Away,” the penultimate track, it is implied that such growth can be one-sided and often taken for granted. Katrell’s vocal pacing makes note of this, showcasing the exhaustion related to being the best version of himself for someone he admires and getting very little in return. However, the closing title track shows that even through false paths to headway and subsequent frustration, better things, no matter how subtle or clear as day, are on the horizon.
Overall, Universe Provides is an impressive piece of music that authentically captures the essence of human struggle. Both Katrell and Numonics have something personable to convey to their audience; the vocal aspect representing colorful, raw thought, often shifting between emotion and logic, and the instrumental aspect representing one’s feelings within their surroundings – everything that not only comforts them with a sense of joy, but grounds them and makes them ultimately whole. This is a solid concept for the band to utilize for the new decade, and I’m looking forward to how their sound evolves.